Diabetic Retinopathy: Having Laser Treatment

Keywords:laser, fiber, treatment,  Time:23-03-2016
You have diabetic retinopathy, a condition that occurs when diabetes damages blood vessels in the rear of the eye, near the retina. It can lead to vision loss or even blindness. However, a treatment called laser photocoagulation may help slow or stop the disease. Laser treatment can't always be used for diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes eye surgery is needed.

What is Laser Photocoagulation?

Laser photocoagulation is a treatment that uses a laser (highenergy light source) to control the growth of new blood vessels, a condition that affects people with diabetic retinopathy. A laser beam is focused on the retina. The heat from the laser beam causes scarring which decreases the growth of new blood vessels. New capillary growth is slowed or stopped with the procedure. Lasers may also cause inflammation, which promotes the healing process and the absorption of extra fluid (macular edema) which can reduce vision. Laser photocoagulation is done using one or more of the types of laser treatments listed below. Sometimes laser treatment is combined with medication, such as injections of steroids or blood vessel inhibitors into the eye (such as anti-VEGF drugs).

Types of Laser Treatment

The type of treatment you receive depends on the extent and location of damaged capillaries. Treatment may take from a few minutes to a half hour or so. You may need more than one treatment session or type of treatment. Treatments include the following:

1.Panretinal treatment reduces growth of new capillaries throughout the retina (the inside lining of the eye).

2.Grid treatment treats swelling (macular edema) in different areas of the macula (a spot in the middle of the retina responsible for clear vision).

3.Focal treatment seals up small areas of leakage in the retina.

Tell your doctor about all medications, herbal remedies, and supplements you take. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, ginkgo, Coumadin (warfarin), or other blood thinners. Be sure to have an adult family member or friend drive you home after laser surgery. You should also bring dark sunglasses to wear on the way home.